Sequels are a touchy thing. Rarely does one capture the same ‘magic’ as the original. If the audience has created an emotional bond with the story and characters, they are apt to rebel against any change. Eureka Seven is a favorite of both Ghostlightning and myself. There are numerous posts written in this blog to this account. As for me, I was anxious for this new show. I was excited at the prospect of a continuation of the story, but nervous at it’s impact on how I felt about the original. The manga had released 3 chapters, and I snuck a peek to see what was in store. My biggest fear was a repeat of Las Exile Fam Fan. The character Fam had taken a show I loved, and with every scene she appears, brutalizes it with the stupidity of her mindless antics. So, would AO do the same thing?
Eureka 7 AO takes place after a fair amount of time had passed. It appears that earth has been restored to the pre-scub coral landscape. The world is as one would recognize today, with the land masses where they should be. Early in, we are introduced to Ao and Naru. Two kids that are childhood friends, living on a warm island. Their friendship has a natural feel to it, and has you interested in them from the start. You’re not forced into liking them, but gradually begin to be drawn into their story. The writing and directing of their relationship is done well and provides opportunities to gauge their personalities. Even some of the minor characters are done well; were you could insert the typical boss and his bumbling buffoons, you get trio of guys, while cliché, are not the incompetent morons that their character types usually take.
The original episodes were titled against music, and themselves contained a great electronic musical score. AO continues this as well, with a background music score that tailors to the scene and mode, enhancing the experience. During quiet scenes, a string quartet plays a classically inspired melody, while action scenes bring a faster paced, techno beat. The music ebbs and flows with the changing moods of the show. I find this to be a big factor in the experience in watching a show. With many productions, the music is an afterthought. The only emphasis placed on the opening and endings, with little regard to what’s in the middle. It’s good to see Bones put effort into the musical score, tailoring to each scene to enhance the experience.
Along with the music, a fantastic amount of detail is spent on the design and overall ‘art’ of the show. The landscapes of the tropical island are beautiful, and well detailed. During points of action, the detail is maintained, making it pop out from the story. And the CGI inputs during the re-emergence of the scub coral are a nice touch. My only fear here is that this being the first episode, the quality will be significantly higher than the rest of the series. Lets hope Bones didn’t blow the budget in the first episodes, only to leave us watching still frames later in the series.
As some of asked, is it essential to have watched the original series to enjoy this? In this first episode, no connection is made until the end. A flashback sequence, triggered by a bracelet device reminiscent of the Amita Drive, takes us to Ao’s past. Here we catch a brief glimpse of Eureka with Ao, and with a single word “Mama”, we are instantly given the reference we are searching for, that connection to the original. But a series of questions are generated. Who is Ao’s father? And why did Eureka and Ao go to this island? This leaves you wondering and hoping for answers in coming episodes. In the end, this first episodes in brilliantly done. My fears of a botched sequel have been delayed, at least for one more episode.
Unfortunately, I’m going to be needed in this series of posts because a bunch of no-good asshats insist that they become “critics” of every episode. Now I can’t accommodate all of them, and especially every damn week, so I’ll do my best to let the 5 least annoying dopes get their opinions in.
And yes, I’ve been playing a lot of Super Robot Wars Z lately.